#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, Black Lives Matter is winning immediate improvements in the lives of people of color.
We’ve officially launched into the most magical time of the year and even though this year will look a lot different than usual, we can still make June as queer as possible. In order to honor the struggles of those before us, we will be covering some grim yet necessary parts of our LGBTQ+ History this month. Before we explore the pain and struggles of our people, we want to start off with a celebration of the music and anthems that have marched us through our darkest times.
Today’s episode drops just 5 days before the launch of Pride Month. That special time of year that rejuvenates us with hope, confidence, and glitter. One of the best parts about Pride today is that so many companies and organizations show their open support online, in their media, and through rainbows plastered on the front of their merchandise. While we certainly enjoy the stand of solidarity, often these gestures come across as hollow. Specifically when one examines the LGBTQ+ diversity, or lack of queer diversity and inclusivity, adopted within these companies. So today we want to discuss how to keep the Pride going long after the last sparkler fades.
Today we cover one of the most well known feminist icons of the 20th century; First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. She was by far one of the most influential and active partners of any sitting president. She also held the title of First Lady longer than any other individual since her husband was the only president to ever serve more than two terms. Due to their power, prestige, and 12 years in the White House, the Roosevelts have long been viewed as a form of American royalty. And with their distinction follows the usual amount of rumors and gossip which people have passed along for decades. While we may not have kings and queens in America, we still love to speculate and dish on the rich as much as any other nation. And few families have ever provided so much fodder for the gossip columns as the Roosevelts.
Today we address a feminist icon, civil rights legend, and queer revolutionary, Barbara Smith, one of the longest and most committed activists to freedom and justice for all people. She’s 73 years old today but age has hardly slowed her down. As she is still actively sought after by people from all walks of life. Smith’s 50 plus years of social justice advocacy makes her one of the most knowledgable and qualified civil rights leaders in the world. An incredible feat for anyone, but especially a black lesbian born in the middle of the Jim Crow era. How did she manage to become the fierce leader she is today? Well, let’s start back at the beginning.
In our last episode, we had reached the final days before the morning of June 28th. We discussed how our community began to stand up and fight back. In part two we go in detail about the Stonewall riot.